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Following LA's And Other Cities' Leads, Long Beach Approves No-Fault Eviction Freeze

The city of Long Beach has become the latest city in the state to enact an emergency no-fault eviction moratorium ahead of a new statewide rent control law that comes into effect Jan. 1.

A view of downtown Long Beach

The Long Beach City Council last week approved to temporarily prohibit no-fault notices and evictions through Dec. 31 for multifamily and other residential units built before Jan. 1, 2005.

A no-fault eviction is a type of eviction in which a landlord ends the tenant's lease or does not renew the lease for no specific cause or reason.  

In October, when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 1482, a cap on rent and no-fault evictions, tenant groups have said that the number of no-fault notices and evictions for their members have gone up.

The new law comes into effect in January. Under AB 1482, owners and landlords of multifamily buildings not built within the last 15 years, as well as large property-owning investors that own condominiums and single-family homes, won’t be allowed to increase rent by more than 5% plus inflation a year.

Owners and landlords will also need to provide “just cause” to evict tenants. Just cause evictions includes tenants not paying rent, damaging the unit and/or conducting criminal activity in the property.

In Long Beach, owners and landlords are still able to send no-fault evictions if the unit is being converted into condominium or houses the owner's family member, according to the Long Beach Post.

The emergency ordinance is meant to serve as a stop-gap measure until the new law comes into effect next year.

Tenant groups have argued that since the law comes into effect in January, multifamily owners and landlords are evicting longtime tenants, who are mostly paying below market rate, now so they can bring in new tenants at market-rate pricing.

Downtown Long Beach

Long Beach is one of a handful of cities in the state that have either enacted moratoriums or planning to temporarily stop no-fault evictions. 

A few weeks after Newsom signed the law, the city of Los Angeles approved an emergency moratorium on no-fault evictions. Los Angeles was the first city to enact the ordinance. 

Alhambra, Redondo BeachPomona and Santa Cruz have since all passed emergency ordinances on no-fault evictions and to protect tenants for the rest of the year.

This week, Downey officials will decide if they will enact a moratorium on no-fault evictions.

At Tuesday's Long Beach City Council meeting, renters shared their stories of recently receiving eviction notices and rents being jacked up ahead of the new law. 

One woman named Antonia said she hoped the council would pass the emergency ordinance.

"I don't want to be the next homeless person on the street," she said.